A White Woman Didn’t Get Stephen A. Smith In Trouble; His Mouth Did

August 1, 2014  |  


Derrick Salters/WENN.com

Well we’ve finally solved the mystery of who told Harpo to beat Sophia?

It was Stephen A Smith.

No, I’m kidding. This is what he actually said in his commentary about the Ray Rice suspension (according to this transcript from The Talking Points Memo):

I think that just talking about what guys shouldn’t do, we got to also make sure that you can do your part to do whatever you can do to try to make sure it doesn’t happen … but at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation,” he added. “Not that there’s real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them. Because we’ve got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way. And I don’t think that’s broached enough, is all I’m saying.”

Well, I will say that Smith is pretty consistent in his victim blaming. Back in March of this year, he was the lead scout in the cavalry to save Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who believes that everybody is a little bit racist and, in particular, are scared of Black men in hoodies. I mean, it’s only natural to be, right?

Back then, he didn’t “give a damn what Black Twitter had to say and told us old time-y black folks we needed to chill because Cuban also mentioned some other prejudices he had against other “others” too. So you kind of expected him to hold the same level of ferocity when Michelle Beadle, co-host of SportsNation of ESPN 2, checked him via Twitter for his pretty foolish domestic violence victim blaming comments.

Instead he got all apologetic and accepting of his week-long suspension – even wishing the Twitterverse a heavenly “God Bless!” Now I’m not trying to say that Smith ended up looking like a flip-flopping, kowtowing shook one, but that’s what Kermit said…

And thank goodness the White woman did care enough to say something on behalf of Ray Rice’s wife, which last I’d recall was a Black woman, and check what are largely inaccuracies. A Black woman, who Smith had just got finished violating again (with his inaccuracies), after she had already been violated by her boyfriend/turned husband and by the Ravens organization in general.

Unlike what Smith believes, women needing to contemplate all they have to do “to try to prevent the situation from happening” has been “broached” before in our national dialogues around intimate partner violence – most times it has been “broached” to death In fact, these conversations about how women should go about not “provoking” our own victimizations has been drilled into the heads of little girls and women everywhere since we were old enough to be left alone with our first male relatives. We are taught about the dangers of our mini-skirts and how that is going to get us raped. We are taught about the dangers of drinking alcohol and how that is going to get us raped. We are taught to stick with friends in bright and crowded places, to avoid ponytails, buy special underwear and other anti-rape paraphernalia, scream “no” as loud and as long as we can – but not too loud because dudes hate it when you talk to much, stop dating thugs, being golddiggers and a whole host of other things, which are supposed to not “provoke” our getting raped or beat up.

The problem is that whenever we “broach” the single golden ways men can do to prevent crimes against women – and that is “don’t do it” – that’s when folks – mostly men but a few women-hating women too (I see you Whoopi), will start pulling out their Smokey the Bear-hat and reminding women again that it is up to them to prevent forest fires.

And yet in spite of all that teaching of women how to stop getting in the way of those flying fists and loose penises, the US Department of Health and Human Services, says that even to this day, between 85 to 90 percent of domestic violence victims are female. Likewise, domestic violence constitutes 22 percent of violent crime against females and 3 percent of violent crime against males. And even more startling, 70 percent of intimate homicide victims are female, and females are twice as likely to be killed by their husbands or boyfriends than murdered by strangers.

Perhaps the womenfolks are just not listening and doing enough to prevent stuff from happening to them. But according to the DHHS:

Some people believe domestic violence occurs because the victim provokes the abuser to violent action, while others believe the abuser simply has a problem managing anger. In fact, the roots of domestic violence can be attributed to a variety of cultural, social, economic, and psychological factors.49 As a learned behavior, domestic violence is modeled by individuals, institutions, and society, which may influence the perspectives of children and adults regarding its acceptability. Abusive and violent behaviors can be learned through: Childhood observations of domestic violence; One’s experience of victimization; Exposure to community, school, or peer group violence; Living in a culture of violence (e.g., violent movies or videogames, community norms, and cultural beliefs).50”

Learned behavior. The kind that says, boys will be boys. The kind that teaches our children that the onus for all violent acts against women are women themselves. The kind that would like to conflate straw man arguments about these exceptional Amazonian women capable of inflicting physical harm with her bare hands and mighty spit, who runs up on dudes and phone checking them for their manhoods than what the reality is: some of y’all got issues.

It’s funny how Smith, along with the supporters of this “provocation” doctrine as an justification for the right to abuse women, usually are eerily silent when discussions around violence against Black men happen. There was no talk about whether Black men should start hitting back when those Staten Island cops allegedly choked Eric Garner to death or how the Jersey cop killer’s widow might have had a point – none of those eye for an eye advocates dared touch that one. Funny how many of these burly tough guys, who are so easily provoked into violence at their own alleged injustice can’t be moved to “treat like men” all the knuckleheads in the community, who rape and pillage. But there are plenty of marching and pontificating behind podiums with petitions and calls to stop the violence though.

And even Smith, who never backs down from his own Bill Cosby-esque sass and provocation of the black community and Black women, suddenly submits, when his own livelihood is at stake. Now he understands self-control.


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  • IknowYouknow

    Nonsense! Anybody with a single functioning brain cell, understood what Stephen A. was getting at. The PC mongers capsized and twisted his sentiments to imply that he was blaming the victim. Reality(something being avoided as a plague) is that a woman that physically attacks a man is more likely to provoke a man into retaliation. That is the truth. Any woman that thinks I’m lying should go outside and slap a few men, after she gets battered she should come back and tell me she’s just a victim. The question I want answered is this; is it domestic violence when a woman hits her man(no matter how many times she does so) or is it only so when the man retaliates(even if it is just once)?
    I’ve never hit a woman, and have no intentions to, I understand that I’m physically stronger. In the same vein, I’m grateful that none of the women in my life has ever hit me…..it’s disrespectful, emasculating and puts any man in a very awkward situation, as I’m sure it does to any woman hit by her man. Smith’s comments came on the heels of allegations that Rice’s wife hit him and spat on him to precipitate his response. Beadle ran with this and some how interpreted this as Smith saying it was the fault of the victim if a woman in mini skirts got raped…..wow! To Rice’s credit he has shielded his wife from any blame by refusing to speak on or place any blame on her, even though she did apologize for her role in the ugly event. I would have been worried if he even somehow tried to allude to something she did to provoke him. I implore everyone, man or woman to avoid physically attacking another person.

    • Indy Syder

      And there are a lot of cells not in function on here LOL!

  • The lady married him,i think we should all butt out and let him beat her at his leisure,thats how their relationship work so…

  • mike h

    What the hell did I just read? I wasn’t feeling this pov.

  • lil ray

    So now they are blaming white women, it’s never ever their own fault.

  • Just Say’n

    He has always, i repeat, ALWAYS BEEN A LOUD MOUTH IGNORANT FOOL

    • mike h

      If you talkin bout Stephen a, you totally wrong. He one of the few articulate black men on television.

      • Guest

        He’s very articulate but that doesn’t change the fact that he is highly ignorant of most of the things he speaks. Exhibit A, the current situation he found himself in that has now landed him on suspension from his job. What he said on air last week was one of the most sexist, misogynistic things he could have ever said on Live tv, and then had the nerve to be mad that people took offense to it. He is ignorant on the topic of domestic violence or he never would have started his conversation on “provocation” rather than what the real issue is, people not have having self control nor the ability to keep their hands to themselves. It just goes to show that book sense doesn’t always equate to common sense cause he showed none last week.

        • Gabe

          Ray Rice”s wife hit him first. It was EXACTLY the “element of provocation” that Stephen A. Smith was referring to. He my not have been precise in his argument, but he certainly wasn’t wrong.

          • Guest

            No it was not. Like I said, it was a situation of two people being unable to control themselves and keeping their hands to themselves. No one can “provoke” anyone. You do what you want to do and they wanted to fight each other that night. Lets stop with the excuses. Ray Rice and his wife have serious issues that people are pushing to the side in favor of this “provocation” angle.

  • B Cooper

    The owner of the Cleveland Cav’s is Dan Gilbert (Cuban owns the Dallas Mav’s). From what I’ve read about each man, they could be the same person.

  • Truthiz

    Re: Mark Cuban

    He’s actually the owner of the Dallas Mavs not the Cleveland Cavs.

    • charingb

      Thanks and corrected.

      • Truthiz

        You’re very welcomed.

  • Yolanda Harris

    I’m sorry, I just don’t see what he said as blaming the victim. In fact, I think he went out of his way not to blame women for domestic violence. But I think people read into his comments what they want to read into his comments. I’ve never been hit by a man. I can only imagine what that’s like. But if I had ever been physically abused, I imagine that this would be a touchy subject for me. So I get why some women are hating on him, but I still feel that there was nothing at all wrong with his comments.

    • Indy Syder

      Yes! Gone head and tell it like you on the mountain!

  • Ms_Sunshine9898

    It’s true, a hit dog will holler. Y’all know what the man is saying is true, but you rather focus on the fact that he said sometimes men are provoked by women who act like she can do what she wants because she think he want hit back. Stop the madness. The main ones upset are probably the same ones that do exactly what he’s talking about . . .

    • Teach_One

      AMEN! I concur with your sentiments.

    • Guest

      And you are exactly the type of woman she was talking about in this article lol. Even when the numbers show that in MOST domestic violence cases, the women are not the primary aggressors. But ok. Let’s continue to use this straw man reasoning, even when faced with the actual numbers of who is hurt more often and is the initial aggressor in these cases.

      • Ms_Sunshine9898

        And you are a clear case of still not getting it. The men that he was referring to are the men who don’t have a history of domestic abuse nor do they regularly abuse women. The men he is referring to are the one’s who most likely are defending themselves against a physical attack by a woman, usually a woman with the mindset of “I’m a woman, he ain’t gon hit me back.” or men who like everyone, have temporarily been caught up in the moment. Best modern example off the top of my head: Chris Brown and Rihanna. No one knows what happen in that vehicle, but I always imagined Rihanna some black woman instigation, putting her hands on him, and telling him he wasn’t going to do ish when he asked her to stopped. I’m not saying what he did was right, but Chris Brown and men are human too and can only be pushed so far before they react to a woman instigating violence against a man. Sadly you sound like an individual that would have been up in arms against Jay-Z for defending himself when clearly Solange was provoking an attack. Would he have been wrong to hit back just enough to defend himself? Or would this have been another case of he had no right to hit a woman, despite her provoking him? Stop being a hypocrite. . .

        • Indy Syder

          Had I said the same thing, I would be accused of hating women. Preach sister! You are the Truth. And they can’t handle the truth! 🙂 LMTO! 🙂

    • Indy Syder

      🙂 Bingo. You should be contagious and rub off on the others who don’t comprehend the message!

  • Colin J.

    The context of what Stephen A. said was based mainly on the Ray Rice altercation. Details of his wife hitting and spitting on him was the provocation that he was talking about. He did not condone Ray’s actions at all, nor Janay’s. If you claim a man hitting a woman is a learned behavior, then what about a woman doing the same to the man? Domestic violence happens to men as well (Jay-Z & Solange, Tiger Woods & Elin). If you wouldn’t get up in another woman’s face or physical confront them, why would you do this to your significant other? Ray Rice AND his wife were wrong for what they both did, it isn’t a one way street. No one deserves to be physical harmed by their S/O, man or woman.

    • Alvin Franks

      if he was talking about the ray rice thing…how is a hit from a woman equal to a punch from a man that lifts weights for a living? its not, he was perfectly fine and she was unconscious…equal is not always fair

      • HaddyBoy

        does the law say physical assault is based on the impact upon which you are hit? hmm, i didn’t know…

        • Alvin Franks

          that actually isnt the issue…the fact is that people seem to think that if a woman is hit that a man has the right to hit her back…what i am saying is that, in the instance of ray rice…that man was fine walking out of the elevator…it is not equal…lisa leslie doesnt play in the NBA…Serena williams doesnt play with men’s tennis…we as a society on some level seem to realize that the strength of men and women are different…so it is NOT equal for a man, in most cases, to hit a woman…a man’s gotta have a code…you can always walk away, you dont have to hit back…

          • IknowYouknow

            The issue is the fact that no one should physically assault another, not the impact of said assault. It is a violation of another’s humanity to subject them to such an attack.
            Why ask why the stronger male retaliated instead of asking why the female feels entitled to hit the male in the first instance. The implication would be that women are not emotionally equipped as men are to keep their tempers in check, which would be going against everything feminists have told us about gender equality. I firmly believe women have the same emotional capacity as men, are equally prone to anger and should be able to exercise just as much self control.

            • HaddyBoy

              DING DING DING